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West Ham’s Pedro putting in extra hours

PUBLISHED: 11:30 13 June 2017

West Ham United's Pedro Obiang

West Ham United's Pedro Obiang

PA Archive/PA Images

Out in the wilderness for much of his first season, Pedro Obiang became an essential ingredient of the West Ham midfield last term and he is now battling hard to be fit in time for the next campaign.

Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (left) and West Ham United's Pedro Obiang battle for the ball during the Premier League match at London Stadium. Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (left) and West Ham United's Pedro Obiang battle for the ball during the Premier League match at London Stadium.

The 25-year-old Spaniard was statistically the best tackler in the top divisions in Europe last term, an amazing feat, although anyone who saw him play would attest to the way he broke up the opposition attacks and got West Ham back on to the attack.

It seems that manager Slaven Bilic’s decision to leave him on the bench for much of his first campaign was a mistake and the former Sampdoria midfield star is keen to get himself ready for the new season by being fighting fit.

“I’m coming back to Rush Green to continue my fitness work in a few days because I have to work to be ready for the fifth of July, when we are back for pre-season training,” said Obiang, whose season ended prematurely when he was forced off with a leg injury during the home defeat by then champions Leicester City back in mid-March.

And it is his drive to be ready for pre-season training which has forced him back to Rush Green to work before most of the squad.

“I have been on holiday with my family and some friends to Mykonos and Athens, Begrade and Montenegro which was both interesting and relaxing,” said Obiang.

“But now is the time to think about my work because I want to be ready to train and play.”

Obiang will be a great asset back in the West Ham midfield, but he feels that he still has room to improve, despite his mantle as the top tackler in Europe.

“I have two things to improve,” he said. “I need to shoot more at the goal and give more assists to my team-mates.

“Last season the best moments were when I scored my first goal and when I saw the videos of supporters singing my song!”

Obiang certainly became a firm favourite at the London Stadium. His ability to get around the big pitch was a vital thing for the Hammers as they struggled at times.

His goal was an opportunist strike from outside the box in the win at Southampton, but he rarely shot most of the time.

Let’s hope Obiang adds to his 44 starts for the club and maybe he will add to that one goal to his name.

One one thing is for sure, he is clearly a great asset to the team.

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